Calabarzon Heritage Caravan: Luzon Cultural Promotion 2018

The Philippines is blessed with beautiful tourist attractions, moreover this tropical paradise is also rich in Heritage, Culture and Arts. It’s a great honor and pride to experience this through Philippine Information Agency and NCCA for the event entitled Luzon Cultural Promotion Phase 2: Sulong Luzon, Yamang Kultura’t Sining featuring the Calabarzon region held last Nov 15-18, 2018.

We started the tour with a courtesy visit to PIA Region 3 office wherein we met Director William Beltran who gives us pointers on what to expect in this 4-day event. Traditionally media are invited in this kind of event but due to the kindness of Miss Astrud Aguinaldo, she referred us bloggers to cover the event making us the only all-millennial representing Region 3. As a millennial blogger this event gave us the chance to experience and see the arts and culture of the Philippines which I think we usually neglect and just focus on tourist attractions such as beaches and natural wonders.

After the courtesy visit we travelled to Laguna to meet PIA Region 4A Director Maria Cristina C. Arzadon and continue to Sulyap Boutique Hotel as one of the official hotel partners of the tour and our home for 2 nights.

Sulyap Boutique Hotel

Sulyap Boutique Hotel is a relaxing home in San Pablo City with cultural and heritage value for the concept is from old houses, arts and crafts all over the Philippines and the world. This kind of accommodations makes you appreciate the artistry from the past.

Welcome dinner was held in which we indulged our taste buds with sumptuous dishes and had the chance to meet fellow delegates. During the dinner, the host region educate us about the tourist attraction specifically about art and culture which is the purpose of this kind of event.

Villa Escudero Plantations and Resorts

This beautiful and historical plantation was founded in the 1880s by Don Placido Escudero and his wife Dona Claudia Marasigan. Originally planted to sugarcane, the crop was converted to coconut by their son Don Arsenio Escudero in the early 1900s. A pioneering agro-industrialist, he built the country’s first working hydroelectric plant to supply his desiccated coconut factory and Villa Escudero, where he and his wife Dona Rosario Adap built in 1929.

The estate was opened  to the public in 1981 wherein the resort has become the top tourist destination in the area. Villa Escudero showcases Philippines’ rich cultural heritage, history and cuisine.

Liliw Laguna

Liliw Laguna is known to be the tsinelas capital for it produces quality and durable footwear. This town is also known for San Juan Bautista Church, Baroque architecture composed of red bricks which is one of the beautiful churches in the area.

UGU Bigyan Pottery Garden

Augusto Ugu Bigyan is one of the famous potters in the country. His artistic works are displayed in different resorts, hotels, restaurants and houses of prominent personalities. Ugu Bigyan is located in Lusacan, Tiaong, Quezon which serves are place for workshops, showroom and restaurant in which serve delectable local dishes for he has a heart for cooking also.

Casa Pablo

This quaint Colonial-style inn surrounded by gardens gives every guest a relaxed rustic vibe. Guest can enjoy the beauty of nature while staying in minimalist rooms with touch of art. The restaurant offers Southern Tagalog cuisine.  This inn has outdoor pool and wedding/event facilities. It’s a venue a also regular exhibitions of works by local artists.

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

This Baroque cemetery was built in 1845 by the Franciscan Missionaries, This Underground Cemetery has circular wall structure with iron-gate to the red-tiled wherein the tombstones are embedded on the brick walls. It’s the only underground cemetery in the country and its one of the national landmarks.

Paete – Wood Carving Capital of the Philippines

Paete’s name was taken from the word “paet” (or pait) means chisel, the main tool used in woodcarving. Paete is famous for wood carved items such as statues, images, intricate furniture and other products.  Did you know that the image of the Crucified Christ found in St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome was made also in Paete? They are also know to be maker of  paper mache products which are usually home decorations during yuletide season. The first yo-yo is also made in Paete.

Thunderbird Resort Rizal

Situated in Binangonan, Rizal, Thunderbird Resorts & Casinos – Rizal is conveniently perched on a valley about 210 ft above sea level that overlooks Sierra Madre mountain range, the longest one in the Philippines. This luxury integrated resort is tucked in a serene place in Binangonan, a first-class municipality, and surrounded by lush greenery and panoramas of the Manila skyline and Laguna de Bay.

Angono Rizal – The Art Capital of the Philippines

It is best known as the “Art Capital of the Philippines”, being the hometown of national artist for music Lucio San Pedro and national artist for visual arts Carlos “Botong” Francisco, as well as the site of the Angono Petroglyphs, the oldest known work of art in the Philippines. Angono Rizal is currently campaigning for its inclusion in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as it is a center for visual arts and inclusion of the Angono Petroglyphs in one of the five properties of the Petroglyphs and Petrographs of the Philippines UNESCO site in the World Heritage List.

Higantes Festival 

Gigantes Festival is celebrated every 22 and 23 November in the city of Angono, Province of Rizal in the Philippines to honor San Clemente, the patron saint of fishermen. The festival features a parade of hundreds of higantes, papier-mâché giants. Higantes are puppets rendered as man or woman in various costumes; their face gives a commanding look, their hands on the waist. The festival’s origin can be traced back to the period of Spanish colonial rule when, as Angono was a ruled hacienda, celebrations were prohibited, except for one festival per year. The Angonos (people of Angono) used the festival as an opportunity to mock hacienda owners by making papier-mâché caricatures—an art they learned from Spanish friars.

Angono Petroglyphs

The Angono Petroglyph is a recent archeological breakthrough during the 80’s found in the mountainside of Angono and Binangonan by Carlo “Botong” Francisco.  In the cave, you will see the different carvings of the tribes settling in this cavern. It is said to be the oldest, known art carvings found in caves in the Philippines dated approximately 1000 years B.C.

National Artist Botong Francisco Museum

In Angono, Rizal, there was this house built in memory of the National Artist, Carlos “Botong” Francisco. It is located along Poblacion Itaas Street, wherein you can see the busts of the National Artist and National Composer– Carlos “Botong” Francisco and Lucio D. San Pedro. After a few steps, beautiful fences from both sides were shown. The residents said that it runs along the whole street of Poblacion Itaas. In this street, you will see the house of Carlos Francisco. Half of this was renovated that serves as a studio and museum.

Blanco Museum 

Started by prominent artist Jose “Pitok” V. Blanco, all his seven children namely Glen, Noel, Michael, Joy, John, Kaye and Peter Paul, utilized their father’s painting style. All of the members of the family contribute on that art gallery and their artworks were displayed here.  It is also fascinating that their usual subjects was their own or even their siblings and parents and paintings depict rural life outdoors that are more colorful and each done with meticulously.This museum houses an anthology of paintings by the members of the family as well as some amazing pieces of art.

This Heritage Caravan is a great showcase of heritage, arts, culture and cuisine of Calabarzon. Different from other tours that I had which focuses  more on the nature’s beauty, this tour will make your appreciate the rich cultural significance of the Philippines. Millennials like us and the younger generations should give value to this kind of events or at least visit places with cultural value as to be educated about our rich history. Thank you to National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines(NCCA) and Philippine Information Agency(PIA) for creating important event such as this and including us Pampanga Bloggers to be part of it. It’s such an honor and pride to promote the heritage of the Philippines to the world.

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